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352                HISTORY OF PERSIA
the efforts of Aurangzeb, steadily increased in power until
even the Emperor had to pay them blackmail.
Mohamed Shah, the antagonist of Nadir, had succeeded
to the throne in A.H. 1131 (1719). He was a worthless
descendant of the Great Moghuls. Indolent and
voluptuous, " never without a mistress in his arms and a
glass in his hand," this despicable monarch was a sorry
contrast to the virile Nadir, and his unwarlike troops
were wholly unfit to face the Persian veterans. Treachery
also is believed to have been at work, some of the leading
nobles of India being in correspondence with Nadir and
weakening the hands of the officers in command of the
fortresses.
The Negotiations.—Nadir had apprized the Court of
Delhi of his Afghan campaign and had requested that no
fugitives should be allowed to find asylum across the
frontier. His envoy, Ali Mardan, Shamlu, was informed
that necessary instructions had been given to the officials
concerned, and a second envoy received a similar reply,
Nevertheless, fugitives freely escaped to Ghazni and
Kabul, and it was evident that proper orders to prevent
this had not been given. Nadir sent another envoy to
remonstrate, but he was detained at Delhi. This was the
state of affairs after the capture of Kandahar, and the
Great Afshar, free now to move his army in any direction,
despatched three fresh envoys with instructions to insist
on a definite reply. Failing again, he wrote .an indignant
letter to the Emperor, but his messenger was killed by
Valad Mir Abbas, the Governor of Jalalabad. The
councillors of the Emperor, it would seem, failed -to
realize the seriousness of the position. They hoped that
Kandahar would prove impregnable, and when it fell they
felt certain that the Persian army would return to its own
country, much as Mohamed Shah of Khwarazm had
believed that the Mongol hordes would never cross the
Oxus.
The Invasion of India.—From Kandahar Nadir marched
north on Kabul, capturing Ghazni on the way, Kabul, the
key to the Khyber Pass, which is the main land gate of
India, offered a stout resistance, but was ultimately taken.